Men's Cross Country Wins flrunners.com Invitational
Saturday, October 03, 2009 | by Michael Pierce

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University men’s cross country team earned their first team victory of 2009, edging out Nova Southeastern by a single point, 35-36, at the flrunners.com Invitational in Titusville, Florida. The 5K race took place at Chain of Lakes Park in Titusville, Florida. The Eagles’ Kyle Brunette also took home the collegiate individual win, coming home in a school-record time of 15:49.69.

Amongst the collegiate runners, all six runners for FGCU finished in the top 18, including freshman Jonathan Lanning (16:20.54) in fourth place, freshman Joseph Hebel (16:27.41) in sixth place, and Joshua Brooks (16:35.31) in 11th place. Rounding out the five scoring runners for the Eagles was 13th-place Dillon McGee (16:42.87). FGCU head coach Cassandra Goodson spoke highly of her team afterwards, saying, “I’m so proud of the guys for winning a meet for the first time in school history. I know that means a lot to them, especially the seniors. I also love how competitive our athletes are amongst themselves, because I think the women winning their first meet of the season really helped push the men a little bit harder, and now with the men winning a meet, they have really shown that we have a nice balance within the cross country program at FGCU.”

In the women’s 5K, the Eagles also had a strong showing, taking home third place out of 10 participating schools. Freshman Shannon Compher led the way for FGCU, claiming 13th place with a time of 19:15.30. Senior Megan Thies (19:26.59) took 16th with freshman Leigh Mumford (19:31.67) right behind in 17th place. Barrie Cohen (20:31.56) took 24th and Christine Baird (21:03.09) rounded out the scoring runners with a 27th-place finish. Coach Goodson talked about the women’s team afterwards as well, saying, “I think it says a lot about our team with two freshman and a senior leading the way, as far as the balance amongst our athletes. Megan has consistently been one of our top finishers for a few years now, but also Shannon has come in this year and really been a leader for us despite the fact that it’s her first year, as evidenced by her times in the first few meets of the season.”

The FGCU cross country teams have a week off before competing in the Stetson Hatter Invitational in DeLand, Florida, on October 16th. The women will run first at 4:30 PM with the men slated to start at 5:10 PM.